Rep. Chip Roy (TX-21), joined by Rep. Andy Biggs (AZ-5) called out the Biden administration for reports that the federal government is funding camps for U.S.-bound migrants in foreign countries with taxpayer dollars.
“The southern border is overrun, and the American people – especially Texans – are suffering as a consequence,”the lawmakers explained in a message to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. “Border officials encountered 144,571 illegal aliens along the southern border in June 2023 – mirroring record highs – because this administration has utterly failed to take the steps necessary to secure our border.”
They explain: “Recent reports indicate that the U.S. federal government has been funding San Vicente Camp, a temporary shelter and processing center for U.S.-bound migrants located in Darien Province, Panama.5 San Vicente Camp is also reported to be a transit point for Chinese nationals, some of whom are suspected to be intelligence operatives or harbor ties to China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA).”
In the letter, Reps. Roy and Biggs charge Sec. Mayorkas to provide answers to the following questions:
- Are taxpayer dollars being used by DHS, the State Department, or any other federal agency to construct and operate [Regional Processing Centers (RPCs)] or migrant shelters in Central or South American countries like San Vicente Camp?
- Are there other camps that use U.S. taxpayer dollars to facilitate the processing of migrants in Panama or Central and South America?
- What steps are being taken to ensure migrants with criminal backgrounds, gang affiliations, links to foreign intelligence agencies, ties with foreign terrorist organizations, or those associated with the PLA, or other hostile military groups, are not benefitting from these shelters or RPCs?
- Please provide a detailed explanation of the application process for a migrant to apply for parole, refugee resettlement, or an existing labor pathway at an RPC or migrant shelter like San Vicente Camp.
- Does DHS or any other agency have plans to establish new RPCs or migrant shelters in any other countries in the Western Hemisphere?
- What measures are you taking with our partners in Latin America to reduce U.S.-bound illegal immigration and repatriate third-country nationals using countries like Panama and Costa Rica as transit points to reach the Southwest border?
“The American people have a right to know if their tax dollars are being used for inhumane policies that facilitate illegal immigration and if those who pose a threat to our public safety, national security, and border are using these installations to facilitate their entry into the country,”the letter concludes.“If they are, Congress has a duty to protect the American people and withhold those dollars.”